God's Own Country

Winner of Best Picture at the British Independent Film Awards!

This debut feature from actor and first-time writer/director Francis Lee is simply unmissable, and a strong contender for the best British film of the year.

Poster for the Yorkshire-set gay drama God's Own CountrySet in present-day Yorkshire, the film centres on twenty-something sheep farmer Johnny Saxby (Josh O’Connor), who’s struggling with his workload after his father’s (Ian Hart) recent stroke. Angry, unhappy and filled with self-hatred, Johnny numbs his emotional pain with binge-drinking sessions at the local pub, and anonymous sexual encounters with young men.

However, Johnny’s life changes with the arrival of Romanian hired hand Gheorghe (Alex Secareanu), who’s contracted to help with the lambing season. Though initially antagonistic, the pair are drawn into a passionate relationship.

At heart, this is an achingly British romance, recalling the likes of Brief Encounter in its devastating use of meaningful glances, tiny gestures and words left unspoken. It’s also a deeply affecting, emotionally resonant coming-out story about self-acceptance and the transformative power of love.

The performances are exceptional. Rising star O’Connor ensures that Johnny remains compelling even when his behaviour is decidedly unsympathetic, with the result that the transformation of his character is genuinely moving. Similarly, Secareanu brings a quietness and a tenderness to Gheorghe that is deeply affecting, while generating palpable chemistry with O’Connor.

In addition, the film is strikingly shot, with Joshua James Richards’s cinematography making strong use of the Yorkshire landscapes. Uplifting, powerfully emotional and beautifully observed, this is an impeccably directed and superbly acted romantic drama that marks writer/director Lee as a serious talent to watch.

– Matthew Turner, iNews

Another U7 Solutions - Web-based solutions to everyday business problems. solution.